Kevin Kling


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Minnesota seems to breed a special kind of comedy, along with equally special comedians to spread the word. From Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Companion to Kevin Kling's oddly perverse yet gently realistic observations of life, listeners are lucky to have such a font of talent. Wonderlure, Kling's third album of spoken word pieces, is a budget-priced gem of quiet humor, reprising eight stories that have already appeared on the NPR staple All Things Considered. With sparse, clear production and lacking any outside distractions (such as an audience), Wonderlure becomes a standup routine for one, as Kling spins out his tales, including the classic retelling of his horrific motorcycle crash on "Accident," where, post-smashup, his morphine dreams bring Gianni Versace to life, and he renames his left arm Scarlet O'Hara. It's funny, but giddily poignant as well. It's just a mere sidestep from that world to the Duluth, MN, marathon, and the modern art scars in "Buying Art." If there's a down point, it's that Kling is perhaps best savored in small bursts, in short, sharp sections, sandwiched between the news and the nearly humorous state of the world on talk radio -- there his stories provide respite and relaxation. All together, playing out one after another on Wonderlure, he runs the risk of overkill, leaving the listener to decide how best to approach him.

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